Maria Linares is a Latina first-generation college graduate, raised in an immigrant household in a working-class neighborhood in Santa Ana. She is a wife, a mother of three, a Girl Scout volunteer, and an experienced and passionate student advocate. Linares was a member of the Cal State Fullerton Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) Board of Directors from 2018 to 2021, serving as chair during the final year of her term. In 2019, she received her bachelor's degree in sociology with a minor in political science and is currently a graduate student in the Master of Public Administration program at CSUF. Linares is a member of Psi Beta, a national honor society for community college students, and a CSUF Pa'lante Fellow for 2021-22.
Her advocacy work includes supporting an on-campus food pantry and a credit/no credit grading opportunity for students during the COVID-19 pandemic. She has also sponsored several ASI resolutions aimed at increasing scholarships for undocumented students; support for formerly incarcerated students, international students and students with disabilities; and mental health resources. In addition, she has advocated for graduate students and a campus Social Justice & Equity Commission. In 2019, she was recognized as the ASI Student Advocate of the Year for her extraordinary commitment to students.
Linares hopes to work in higher education, advocating for students through legislation. In five years, she sees herself applying for a doctorate in public policy or working in legislative affairs.